I literally think that I'm living in some sort of warped universe where time has slown down just to torture me. It's only been two weeks since Naya's birthday. It feels like an eternity. Everyday is just dragging on and I am tired, not only mentally but physically, since I am nearing the end of this pregnancy during this mentally draining time period. That only adds on to the stress. I am 35 weeks and 3 days right now and carrying a large baby (they are guessing about 2lbs bigger than either of my other children). My body is sore, my mind is polluted and I am just plain tired. I would really, really like this month to end. I am so tired of being patient.
However, yesterday was Ty's 11th birthday and that was a happy distraction. He went to the water park with his summer program during the day and we went for sushi afterwards, followed by a special birthday apple pie. (All his choices - yes, my son has interesting tastes.) We spent a lot of time shopping for special presents that meant a lot to him and he loved every second of his birthday. It was nice to hear that it was the best birthday ever and I don't think it was just the hormones speaking. Last year, his birthday was awful. We were in Santa Barbara and Naya was not doing very well. We were able to sneak out of the hospital for a dinner the day before but we didn't have time to get him gifts or anything. He got a card with cash because my little sister took him to Disneyland on his actual birthday. I didn't even get to see him that day and this year, I felt we had so much to make up for. It hate thinking about how I didn't get to make his debut into the double digits special for him. It hurts. I know he understood that we did our best in the worst of circumstances but it still hurts.
That brings me to today. Along with the emotions that always seem to come after a significant day, today was very hard for another reason. One year ago today was the day that Naya was airlifted to LA from Santa Barbara. I feel like I've relived that day over and over again in my head today. I feel like it was just yesterday - I can't believe it was a freaking year ago. I remember walking into the hospital that morning and the nurse that was on duty freaking out because her blood pressure was super low and she couldn't bring it up. I remember panicking along with her and wondering what the hell was happening - my baby was supposed to be getting better, at least that's what they had told me. I remember the attending coming and talking to us and telling us they were transferring her down to LA because she might need dialysis. (I didn't know it at the time but they were thinking she needed to be on ECMO, something that they didn't end up doing because she was too sick. ECMO is essentially a sort of dialysis system for your heart and lungs. It's crazy and scary and a last resort option. It is so ironic to me that she was to sick to go on ECMO. Here's a link if you are curious as to what it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extracorporeal_membrane_oxygenation. I had no idea this existed until we were in the NICU.)
I remember waiting for them to decide how they were going to make the transfer. It went back and forth from ambulance to helicopter for awhile. They eventually decided to use a helicopter and we waited for the team to arrive from LA. While we were waiting, Dan went to the place we were staying and packed up our stuff, since we weren't allowed in the chopper and were going to drive our car down to LA. The team got there and they loaded up Naya for transport, with my sobbing the whole time. Dan and I walked with them out to the ambulance that was waiting to take them to the airport, where the helicopter would take off. We said goodbye to our baby and watched them drive away. It was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. After they left, we got in our car and began the 100 mile drive to LA - at 5:00 on Tuesday. If you know anything about Southern California traffic, you know that means a fun time. The worst part was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 101 just outside of Santa Barbara and watching that blue helicopter come from behind us and fly to the South. We watched it in tears until we couldn't see it anymore.
It took us around 3 hours to make that 100 mile drive. Luckily, one of the nurses on the transport team had taken my number and called us both when they landed and also when she was settled in her room to let us know her status. We were able to see her that night and meet a couple of her wonderful primary nurses that would spend the next month caring for her. We also had to scramble to find a place to stay, as there was no room in the Ronald McDonald House for us. Funny story though - the hospital had just moved into their newly built building and offered to let us stay in the old hospital, which was empty, for the night. We politely declined. (We ended up staying with one of my sisters friends who lived in West Hollywood.)
Wow. Writing all that seems like I am describing a scene out of a movie. Sometimes, it's hard for me to believe we experienced what we did. Even now, looking back a year later, it still seems so surreal.